Hidden Features of Microsoft Word: Top 5 you Must Know

MS or Microsoft Word is considered the Swiss Army knife of word processing. It conceals more than meets the eye. If you have ever wondered whether you are simply scratching the surface with this software, you might be right. 

Everybody knows of the basic features of MS Word. You open the software, click on Blank Document, and start writing. You might tweak the font style and size, use the grading features, and utilize bullets and numbers to make your document readable. But there’s a world of covert features waiting to be explored. Without wasting any more time, let’s decode a few of the enigmatic features hiding in plain sight. 

Enhanced Collaboration 

MS Word is more than a document creation tool and editor. It is packed with collaboration tools to ensure smooth teamwork. Some of the features you might be overlooking are:

  • Track changes: If you are working with your team on a document, you must enable Track Changes. This will allow everyone to see who made the edits and when. Then, the changes can be rejected, accepted, or merged to ensure an efficient collaborative workflow without losing control. Remember to turn off Track Changes once the document is ready to go. 
  • Comments: Sending long email threads explaining the changes required in the document is passé. Today, you can use MS Word and insert comments at specific points in the document itself. You can also ask questions, highlight areas for discussion, or provide feedback. The collaborators will directly see the comments in the document and make the changes without a fuss. 
  • Co-authoring: MS Word enables real-time co-authoring. This means no more sending the document back and forth. You can use SharePoint or OneDrive to allow multiple users to edit the same document seamlessly at the same time. Also, everyone can see each other’s edits as it happens. So, no matter the distance, you can collaborate on the fly. 

Recover Documents in an Instant 

No, you don’t have to worry about a document you have been working on disappearing because your system crashed or because you forgot to save the document. 

Things happen, and this is where the document recovery feature of MS Word comes to the rescue. Whether you have quit the application accidentally or your system is experiencing an unexpected error, the document you have been working on is not completely lost. All you have to do is learn how to recover the document. 

So, how to recover a Word document on Mac? The steps are easy. Use the built-in AutoRecovery feature of MS Word. This feature is specifically designed for unplanned disruptions. To check the files saved by AutoRecovery, go to Finder > click Go > Go to Folder > type ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery > press Return > review all the files and find the one you need. 

As for Windows users, you can open MS Word > click File/Manage Document > go to the File tab > choose Document Management > select Recover Unsaved Documents. All the unfinished documents will be listed, and you can choose the one you need.

Add Creative Touches to Your Documents 

Although Word documents are not expected to be creative and colorful, the software has some built-in tools that allow users to add visual flair to their text and formatting. 

  • Text effects: Italic and bold are not the only effects you can apply to your text. You can add visual flair with effects like outlines, shadows, and reflections. These effects can be accessed from the Format Text Effects pane. 
  • Watermarks: Do you want to add a touch of sophistication to your documents or protect your work? You can do so by including a custom watermark. The software allows users to insert logos, text, or images that subtly appear behind the document content. This not only adds a professional touch but also protects your work. 
  • Bullet points: You don’t need to settle for boring lists when you can make them interesting with bullet points in custom images, shapes, and even emojis. 

Productivity Tools to Turbocharge Your Workflow 

Some of the productivity tools you are not using are:

  • Dictation: Give your fingers the much-needed rest and let your voice do the typing. Turn on the Dictation feature so you can take a break from the keyboard grind and use your voice to quickly write down the things on your mind. This feature is also excellent for taking notes or brainstorming. 
  • Find and Replace: The Find and Replace tool may appear humble, but it can turbocharge your productivity. Utilize this tool to quickly find inconsistencies and replace them all. This ensures you don’t have to individually edit and make changes. 

Choose Readymade or Create Custom Templates 

You already know how to create a new document. Simply open the software and click on Blank Document. But did you know there are readymade templates you can use or create custom templates? You will find various templates for writing resumes or creating brochures. You can select one of the templates to get started or create a custom one. The custom template can be saved for future use. 

Do you wish to add more hidden or overlooked features? Leave a comment.